Blugecko is an elephant friendly tour operator and agent. Blugecko only sells treks which offer a more ethical and postive elephant interaction experience.
Blugecko are an elephant friendly tour agency
Blugecko will not sell any trip which includes elephant riding (please see below for exceptions) and elephant shows. Training to prepare elephants for riding and to perform in shows is very harsh and starts from a young age and in many training programmes extremely cruel. Continued control and direction of the of the elephant often requires further poking and prodding with sharp hooks to control them in these activities. Blugecko avoid the selling of any trips which involve such methods. Riding can also cause a harsh physical toll on the elephants, elephants working for elephant camps and trekking operators work their elephants for many hours per day. Tourism is on the increase and unfortunately demand for the riding of elephants is going up leading to many suffering overworked elephants.
We do not have a perfect knowledge of the workings of every organization which uses elephants especially concerning the training methods used and the continued welfare of the elephant (as there are very much different degrees of how well the elephants are cared for) however we do our best to gauge whether the elephants are well cared for and we do hope to be able to offer you elephant activities where the standard of elephant care is well above the norm. We also rely on to some degree what our customers say. If you have booked a trip through us which involves elephants you will get the chance to fill out our feedback form. Please let us know what you thought about the elephant welfare standards. We read every form and use this information to help us choose only those elephant activities which are offering a good standard of elephant welfare.
The bull hook
Blugecko do feel that if essential and not overused then we do accept that a bull hook can be used to control the elephant and ensure the clients safety. However the elephant partners we have chosen to work with own elephants that are normally easily controlled by food and the promise of a cooling bath and scrub in the river or mud pond. These are activities the elephants enjoy and very rarely need any poking with the bull hook to get them to do these things. If the elephant owners do use a bull hook we will state this in the tour details page of the tour.
Blugecko feel that some bareback riding is OK as long as the elephant is not forced into riding for long hours everyday. If a limited amount of bareback riding is allowed then we will state this in the details section on the tour page.